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‘Merry and bright’ is an expression we always hear when the Christmas season is near. It’s perhaps the phrase that encapsulates best the typical image of holiday celebrations. Everyone is happy, always game for festivities, singing carols, decorating trees, and giving gifts. At the same time, everything’s beaming, from the facade of your home to the face of your three-year-old niece.
There’s one other way to experience ‘merry and bright’ in an entirely new level (and it’s a guarantee, the kids in your family are going to love it). That is, watch Christmas light shows around the metro. Here are some locations that have it:
There’s a good chance that you’ve heard about this already, because it’s among the most popular, not just as a place for jogging, but also as a Christmas destination in the city. Since 2009, Ayala Land has been doing light shows. Every night, the garden glows up with festive, colorful lights and lasers, their twinkling synchronized with a festive music ensemble.
This year, their theme is Gallery of Lights, aptly named as the show featured a 3D mapping video cast into the dome of Ayala Tower One and Exchange Plaza. The ceiling is like a canvas that showed stained glass windows and blue skies, creating a richly aesthetic, museum-like experience for goers. The show runs until January 12, 2020, so go grab the opportunity to see the spectacle. Shows start at 6PM, running every 30 minutes, and end at 10PM.
When you pass through Ortigas East, formerly known as Frontera Verde, during this time, the road is visible not because of street lights, but because of the tunnel of light created by a sea of red, green, and blue bulbs. Dubbed as Christmas Street Musical Tunnel, it’s a visual stream of bright, beaming lights. Like the one in Ayala Triangle, the flickers are accompanied by joyful music. Popular Christmas carols, to be specific. It’s the third year of the show, and it still continues to draw huge crowds of onlookers.
If you plan to see the installation, go there from 6PM to 10PM. It runs until January 5, 2020. It’s best if you go on a Saturday because there’s a fireworks display at 7PM and the StrEAT Food Night Market that’s open until 11PM. Do get ready for crowds of people. If you’re bringing kids, be sure to keep them close to you at all times.
SM Mall of Asia
At the south side of the metro, people are excited over MOA’s Grand Festival of Lights Parade. Running for almost 11 years now, the procession of interesting characters to spread light and love has become a centerpiece tradition when celebrating the Christmas season. This year, it’s Santa and ‘his magical friends’ who are marching. The event features six beautifully-crafted floats and over a hundred Christmas characters.
Take note that the parade only happens every Saturday until Christmas. It begins at North Arcade, the area close to IMAX, around 5:30AM, then moves to the front of the mall at the South Arcade, and concludes at the area of Seaside Boulevard around 7PM. After the parade, hit the mall and resume your Christmas shopping. If you’re in the Mall of Asia on December 14 for the parade, drop by the Lamudi Housing Fair as well to see different homes that could be yours in the future.
Meralco Liwanag Park
When it comes to light shows, of course, power companies won’t be left behind. Every year since 2011, Meralco sets up and lights up in their very own compound Liwanag Park, an imaginative community space that’s filled with themed attractions. People can interact with installations lit up by a million LED lights.
This year, Meralco introduces new attractions, including the Light Tunnel, Christmas Train, and eScooter Rides. The park is open from Monday to Thursday, from 7PM to 10PM, and on weekends from 6PM to 11PM. It runs until January 5, 2020, and admission is free. Get your cameras ready for all the Instagrammable installations you’ll see at the park.
Christmas is a festive, beaming celebration. This joyful spirit is not only an idea we sing in our carols or see in Star Cinema movies. It’s real and it’s felt, especially when shared with our loved ones. Make your celebration merrier and brighter by catching light shows all over the metro with your family.
Main photo via Philstar.com/RP Ocampo